One popular story from Japanese folklore is about a cat whose tail was caught on fire by a spark from a nearby hearth while it slept. The cat ran throughout the streets of Imperial City, lighting the houses on fire in the process. By the morning, the city had been destroyed. The Emperor was quite angry and decided that all cats must have their tails docked to prevent another disaster.
It’s not clear when short-tail cats were actually introduced into Japan, but bobtail cats were popular in the 17th century. Tri-colored cats with short tails are commonly seen in ancient Japanese woodcut prints and silkscreen paintings.
Between the 13th and 15th centuries, cats became street cats. They were no longer seen as pampered house cats. They were needed to protect the silk industry and grain stores against rodents.
The Japanese Bobtail was first introduced to the United States in 1908.
Elizabeth Freret imported the three Japanese Bobtails from Japan in 1968. She started an official breeding program for the breed.
Appearance: The short, bunny-shaped tail is the breeds most identifying trait. The tail is short, and curly-like. The Japanese Bobtail is no completely tailless, it has the normal number of vertebrae, just smaller. No two cats have the same tail.
The head is near-about a perfect equilateral triangle.
The most common color pattern is white with splashes of two other colors, but the cats do come in solid colors and dilute colors are also common.
Temperament: These cates are an active cat. They are intelligent and very human-oriented. They are easy to train tricks, and actually enjoy learning and most any activities with their humans.
They are a talkative breed. Many say that the cats actually sing.
These cats do well in active households, houses with older children, single people, and anyone in-between.
Health: Japanese Bobtail cats are pretty hardy. They have an average lifespan of 15 to 18 years.